One God | Salvation | Baptism | Faith
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Touch and Agree? | One Body? | One Liners
It would help if I knew what Christian Faith you were associated with .
A: Let me answer the last question first. I am a member of the only Christian Faith there is - Apostolic (One Body?) The Church I presently attend is part of The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World or P.A. of W. From what I understand they leave the "of " in since there is a radical group called the P.A.W. As far as the Bible is concerned if, and I stress if, you stick to "everything" given by Jesus Himself and through His Spirit to the Apostles what you "name" yourself is unimportant. All that matters is that you obey Jesus and His doctrine or teaching. The United Pentecostal Churches and the United Pentecostal Churches Independent as well as some but not all of the Churches of Christ follow this doctrine. In this day and time however you must see for yourself, even in these organizations.
The Old Testament is a collection of scrolls passed down from generation to generation and kept safe by Priest or ones assigned to their care. In Jewish Synagogues you have the same practice today. These scrolls are not the originals but are considered accurate. A translation of the book of Isaah from 3400 years ago compared to one of today is accurate down to the dotting of an "I" (jot) and the crossing of a "T" (tittle) just a Jesus said it would be. The New Testament is the writings of the Apostles while they were still alive. They were the ones given the charge and instrustions by Jesus Himself and were considered the true authorities. This is what I mean when I say I am of the "Apostolic" faith, that I believe or know rather that Jesus said it all and that is that.
The Old Testament is translated from what is known as the "Septuagent" which is a Greek document of roughly the same time as the New Testament. No one knows who trahslated this document into Greek or who desided which books were accepted. The Dead Sea Scrolls were apparently preserved by a group called the Essenes. Not much is known about them either but more is surfacing all the time! When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found we got the chance to see how accurate this Greek translation was. As I mentioned above it was not just excellent but perfect. The Septuagent contained the Apocrypha however and these books are not found in the Scrolls.
The King James or Authorized version of the Bible is the most widely accepted of all translations. King James wanted to have just one version of the Bible since in His day he had much the same situation as we have today. It seems that what ever you want the Bible to say that there is a "translation" (used loosely) that says it. James picked scholars of his day and gave them the command to check all the old manuscripts and all the old translations of the Bible and come up with "The Translation" of the Bible to unify the Catholics and the Protestants. Given the circumstances, the Catholic Church was opposed since they had "translations" that were "accepted" in their ranks and thought the "interpretation" of scripture was best left to priest, they did a pretty good job. There were some passages that the Church insisted had to be left in or they wouldn't accept the Bible but there were some clear rejects that the King refused to admit. These are called the Apocrypha and are still in the "Catholic Bible."
The way a book got into the Bible was to be quoted as Scripture in another accepted book or known to have been written by an Apostle and to not contradict any other book of the Bible in fact or principle. The book of Ester is the only book not mentioned by or directly quoting another but it is generally accepted as Cannon (inspired).
The arrangement or order is pretty much a matter of common sense.
The reason many denomination or faiths, as you call them, use different versions of the Bible is that the real Bible doesn't support what they teach. This is especially true of the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons and generally true of the others. In misbegotten attempts to promote unity we have things like the New International Version that is in reality an interpretation. In the New Common English Version for instance John 1:1 reads "In the beginning was the one called the Word" when words for "the", "one" and "called" simply do not exist in any manuscript. The "translators" interpreted this passage from a Trinitarian perspective therein changing the meaning entirely to suit their purposes.
The best, although not perfect translation is the King James Version. Once you learn the language it is very close to the original texts. I recommend that you get a Strong's Concordance with the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries at the end, about $25.00 around here. This will give you what the writers had in mind when they wrote it. It is a lot different than what you will hear in all but a few places.
Sounds hopeless? Without God it is. Before I got saved I said to God: "I believe you are really there and I want to do what is right. I know that all these people (denominations) can't all be right. I also know that you have somebody somewhere that has the truth. Your Truth. Lead me to them or make me one alone but I want to know." Unless God shows you personally that the Bible is written just for you, it is just another book.
The good news (Gospel) is that He will!
For more info on the King James or Authorized Version check out: